Judy and Hein – The Lodge, Ronda

The Lodge, Ronda

Judy and Hein´s Wedding Day

The lodge is a stunning venue set in the heat of Andalucia in Ronda and was the perfect choice for Judy and Hein.

Judy and Hein first contacted me prior to their visit here, they asked if they could meet up with me when they come out to finalize the details of their wedding to be held at The Lodge in Ronda. They had arranged to come and meet me on their way from Gibraltar airport up into the mountains where their venue was, that was until their plane was rerouted to Malaga and it meant that they were running late by the time they landed and they really wanted to make their way straight to the venue, so unfortunately we did not get a chance to meet. I do not always need to meet with clients prior to their day anyway and can more than often get everything that I need from a phone call or certainly a Skype call, but I knew Judy really wanted to meet me if she was to select me as her chosen photographer. Never the less they headed back to the UK without us meeting and I thought that I would not hear from them again. I then received a message from a friend in the UK who said that her friend was at the airport looking at images on her Facebook page and had commented on how nice the photos were, quite oddly the photos had been taken by me when her sister’s best friend had visited Marbella just prior. The bride to be did not know at this time that I was the same photographer as the one she was currently complimenting and I guess that this did bode well with them and they got in touch and booked my services. Below are just a few of my personal favourite images and the story of their day…

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Judy and Hein’s day
I was headed off on this beautiful Andalucían morning for a lovely and peaceful drive up into the mountains above Marbella. It really is a lovely venue in Ronda where the lovely couple Judy and Hein were to be married later that day. It was to be an intimate affair, made clear by the bubbly wedding planner (Judy herself), they wanted there to be a relaxed ambience to the day where everyone would feel at home, to the point where they might take their shoes off and sit on the grass while sipping a beer. In Judy’s own words (taken from her pre wedding questionnaire that we give out) “none of that formal stuffy stuff!”. We were looking forward to this wedding even more for this very reason and knew that more casual weddings can often create atmospheres ideal for candid reportage photography. We just knew this wedding would be lovely to photograph and very personal also as Judy had designed and planned every last detail herself and she knew exactly how she and Hein wanted it to be. They had chosen The Lodge in Ronda after falling in love with it during a previous romantic holiday there.
As we arrived I noticed that there certainly was a very calm and relaxed atmosphere helped by the tranquillity and beauty of this venue’s wonderful setting. I made my way to Judy’s room where alongside her bridesmaids she was preparing for the big day ahead. She looked very relaxed sitting on the veranda and often smiled and laughed as she got ready with some help from the talented Lorraine of Princess Bride. Although Judy’s room was nicely tucked away at the far end of the venue, from her veranda we could clearly see the guests arriving, enjoying champagne and escaping the heat under the trees. Everyone looked glamorous and I grabbed a couple of shots as I went to find Hein’s room at the other side of the venue.
Hein actually looked as if he might possibly be more nervous than Judy as he got dressed and ready, helped by his best man they were ready very quick and joined the guests for a pre wedding drink. Back up to the bridal room and aware now of how quick time was going, it suddenly dawned on Judy as she looked a little more serious, that she was about to be married and the full reality set it. She was soon back smiling again within seconds though as she was joined by her beautiful daughters who anxiously waited to get into their pretty “flower girl” dresses.
As everyone was adding the finishing touches a very proud Dad appeared ready to escort his daughter down the aisle and it was time to go.
An attentive Hein was waiting for his bride to appear at the ceremony area set up in the gardens of “The Lodge” with it’s beautiful views of the mountains. It was to be a humanist ceremony performed by “Humanist Wedding Celebrant” Natasha Johnson of Malaga Minister and it appeared to be everything that both Judy and Hein had wished for and more.
There was a lovely ambience throughout the whole ceremony, with beautiful and personalised parts by way of readings and poems by close family and there was also some funny parts and  Judy’s personality shone through, with her smiling regularly and laughing on occasion.t Judy and Hein lit two candles to represent the two families coming together and the ceremony was sealed with a kiss before they walked back up the aisle into a shower of confetti.
The sun was exceptionally hot for this time of year so I suggested that we moved into a shaded area under some trees by the pool while the happy couple were congratulated by their guests. They all had a few more drinks and I knew that the light was just perfect for some artistic shots and so the bride, groom and I nipped off for some more romantic photographs, allowing them also the chance to be on their own for five minutes and catch up with the day so far.
As we returned to their guests, Judy asked if I could take just a few casual family fun group shots, I am not a great lover of formal line-up photographs if I’m honest as I am a reportage photographer but I always oblige and know that these images are certainly wanted by some, I myself in fact often quote “Just a couple of shots for the parents”. We took some in a matter of minutes thanks to the cooperation of everyone and I was pleased with the photographs all the same. After some more drinks (for the guests) they sat at the tables laid out for dinner as the music played and the newlyweds went upstairs to freshen up. After a short while DJ Ian Preston announced their grand entrance down the wooden staircase from the main veranda. The couple seemed very happy as they entered the banquet and sat to join their family and friends for some amazing food. Everyone sat back down as more and more fabulous arrays of barbecued meat amongst other delights were served to them. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and some more drinks of course, only stopping to listen to the hilarious singing and banjo playing of two of their guests as they danced around the tables.
The sun was now setting really fast and as it disappeared behind the mountains my colleague and I timed it as best as we could to grab Judy and Hein for a few more portraits in as shorter time as possible. There were some very funny and very touching speeches to follow, the lack of light to read the speeches and Hein’s need to borrow some misfitting glasses got people in stitches of laughter whereas another topic more related to his childhood created a lot of emotion and was very moving. Judy, Hein got up to cut their 3 tier cake with white bows and a white flower on top and then Judy went up to the top veranda to throw her bouquet over and down to the awaiting female guests.
The evening music started with DJ Ian Preston on the wheels of steel and “Monkey Tennis” providing some ever entertaining live tracks, not that anyone needed any help in getting started after the Mojito bar was set up.
The happy couple’s first dance was very romantic and before you knew what had happened things really started to crank up a notch as everybody joined them on the dance floor for some fun. It was obvious that everyone was loving the sounds of Monkey Tennis as the night got louder and louder and everyone really started letting their hair down.
What Judy had wished for had certainly come true, everyone was relaxed and joining in with the informal fun and even the kids who were obviously tired didn’t want to close their eyes in case they missed out on anything.
After the band had finished, DJ Ian Preston took over the show and everyone carried on going… and going. A successful day and evening for sure and one we will remember.
Now if you remember at the beginning of this blog I mentioned the strange coincidence with Judy seeing a mutual friends images on Facebook, well one thing that I didn’t mention was that while Judy was not able to meet with me, I was actually instead editing and transferring to my online galleries the actual images in question, so basically if I had of met with her during her visit, she would probably have never seen the images anyway. As I left their wedding I had a lovely chat with this same mutual friend’s sister who was a guest there and was a lifelong friend of the bride! Bizarre coincidences all the way, that’s for sure.

Congratulations to Judy and Hein, thank you for inviting me to share your special day. I wish you all the best for your future together.

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